Dunne, J. W. - An Experiment with Time – Dreams of a massive explosion
Type of Spiritual Experience
The Silvertown explosion occurred in Silvertown in West Ham, Essex (now part of the London Borough of Newham, in Greater London) on Friday, 19 January 1917 at 6.52 pm. The blast occurred at a munitions factory that was manufacturing explosives for Britain's World War I military effort. Approximately 50 long tons (50 tonnes) of trinitrotoluene (TNT) exploded, killing 73 people and injuring 400 more, as well as causing substantial damage in the local area. This was not the first, last, largest, or the most deadly explosion at a munitions facility in Britain during the war: an explosion at Faversham involving 200 long tons (200 tonnes) of TNT killed 105 in 1916, and the National Shell Filling Factory, Chilwell exploded in 1918, killing 137.
A description of the experience
AN EXPERIMENT WITH TIME BY J. W. DUNNE [SECOND EDITION]
A few days later the great Silvertown explosion occurred, shaking the whole building, breaking windows, and causing the nurses to extinguish the lights, on the supposition that Zeppelins were over-head. Such an experience was calculated to make one dream; and dream I did, but, as usual, on the wrong night — the night before the associated event.
After the disaster I told a fellow-convalescent of this experience. He interrupted me, saying, "Wait!" and then: "Curious, that. Now that I come to think of it, I also dreamed of an explosion last night."
He could no longer, by then, recall any of the details of his dream, and, since big bangs of all sorts were fairly common during the war, coincidence might well have been responsible for the facts. But — supposing this were not the case, and that the dream had been in the same class as mine?....
I had got no further than this in my speculations when the friend in question came up in a state of some excitement. "You remember what we were saying about dreams?" he asked. "Well, I have been talking to So-and-So" (one of the hospital surgeons), "and he told me of a curious thing which had happened to him the other night. He had just got into bed and gone to sleep when he dreamed that he was aroused and compelled to go out to attend to a fractured leg. Almost immediately after his dream he was aroused, owing to the arrival of an urgent message which necessitated his going out to attend to just such a case. And in telling me the story he pointed out that he had not had to deal with a fractured leg for over six weeks."
So here, possibly, was a third incident, involving a third person. What, I wondered, would become of the record of that event? The surgeon would tell it to a few friends, who would attribute the whole thing to coincidence (it might have been that), and in course of time he would forget all about it himself.